All States have minimum requirements for car insurance. Most states require drivers to have liability car insurance at a minimum. However, according to the Insurance Research Council, at least one in every eight drivers is uninsured.
When an accident occurs, in most cases the at-fault party is expected to pay for the damages or injuries resulting from the accident. This is true even in “no-fault” states where the value of the damages and injuries exceed a specified amount. The injured parties can file a claim with the other party’s insurance provider to receive compensation for injuries and damages. So, what happens when the other driver doesn’t have insurance?
What to Do
If you are involved in an accident with a motorist who doesn’t have insurance, it is still important to gather the driver’s information. Ensure that you get his name and contact information. This will help you follow up with the case later.
It is also important to make notes or write a statement describing the events surrounding the collision. This is a vital document to ensure that you have a clear recollection of the situation and it may be used to determine fault. Be sure to take photos of the scene of the accident. This will help to provide visual context of the scene. Take photos of your injuries as well since those images together with your medical records may help establish the extent of your injuries.
If you have been injured in the accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may have to rely on your own means to pay for your medical bills. You may choose to pay out of pocket, your health insurance or your own car insurance. Your attorney can help you decide the best way to handle this based on the circumstances of your case.
Filing a lawsuit
It is possible to seek compensation for injuries and damages suffered in a car accident involving a motorist without insurance. However, this may depend on whether the accident occurred in a traditional negligence or no-fault state.
Ideally, you have uninsured motorist coverage in your own insurance policy. In that situation, your own insurer should cover your medical expenses and possibly other claims as well. If you don’t have uninsured motorist coverage or if that coverage does not fully reimburse you for your damages, you may want to consider a lawsuit against the uninsured driver.
A lawsuit may not be a good option if you are in a no-fault state. In a no-fault state, you can’t sue a driver unless the accident resulted in serious injuries or you suffered medical bills amounting to a specific amount.
You can sue the uninsured driver if you live in a traditional negligence state. However, there is no guarantee that you will be given compensation even if your lawsuit is successful. Many people who don’t have insurance have no money or assets to compensate you for your injuries.
It is important to contact a lawyer whenever you are involved in a collision with an uninsured driver. Your attorney will guide you through filing your claim and determine the best approach to take in your case.